College Gallery

Indigenous Canadian Books & Authors

Featuring Indigenous authors and their works.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
available from the NLC library in paperback format

“ Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario, [Richard Wagamese] was one of Canada's foremost writers. … He won numerous awards and recognition for his writing, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media and Communications, the Molson Prize for the Arts, the Canada Reads People's Choice Award, and the Writers' Trust of Canada's Matt Cohen Award.”

- from Penguin Random House Canada

“In Richard Wagamese's novel, Medicine Walk, a father and son attempt to reconnect as they travel through the backwoods of British Columbia. Eldon Starlight, a Korean War vet estranged from his 16-year-old son, Franklin, is dying. He seeks out Franklin to take him to the mountains, so the can be buried sitting up and facing east, in the    Ojibway warrior way.”

- from CBC Books

Mamaskatch by Darrel J. McLeod
available from the NLC library in hardcover

“Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alta., Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family's history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. McLeod was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life. … Mamaskatch won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction and was on the shortlist for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize.”

- from CBC Books:

Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
available from the NLC library in hardcover

“Eden Robinson has matriarchal tendencies. Doesn’t have a pressure cooker, but knows how to jar salmon. Her smoked salmon will not likely kill you. Hobbies: Shopping for the Apocalypse, using vocabulary as a weapon, nominating cousins to council while they’re out of town, chair yoga, looking up possible diseases or syndromes on the     interwebs, perfecting gluten-free bannock and playing Mah-jong. Be warned, she writes novels and tends to be cranky when interrupted.”

- from Penguin Random House Canada:

“Tragedy strikes a Native community when the Hill family’s handsome seventeen-year-old son, Jimmy, mysteriously vanishes at sea. Left behind to cope during the search-and-rescue effort is his sister, Lisamarie, a wayward teenager with a dark secret. She sets off alone in search of Jimmy through the Douglas Channel and heads for Monkey Beach—a shore famed for its sasquatch sightings. Infused by turns with darkness and humour, Monkey Beach is a spellbinding voyage into the long, cool shadows of B.C.’s Coast Mountains, blending teen culture, Haisla lore, nature spirits and human tenderness into a multi-layered story of loss and redemption. “

- from Penguin Random House Canada:

In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott
available from the NLC library in hardcover and eBook formats

“Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, Métis, and mixed Euro-descent woman from Prophet River First Nations, and lives in Fort St. John, British Columbia.”

- from Penguin Random House Canada:

“In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption. With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit.”

- from Penguin Random House Canada:

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns
available from NEOS libraries as an interlibrary loan (paperback)

“Jessica Johns is a Vancouver-based writer, visual artist and member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory in northern Alberta. Johns won the 2020 Writers' Trust Journey Prize for the short story Bad Cree, which is about an Indigenous character's attempt to reconnect with their land and culture.

That horror-infused story became Johns's debut novel Bad Cree, which centres around a young woman named Mackenzie who is haunted by terrifying nightmares and wracked with guilt about her sister Sabrina's untimely death. The lines between her dreams and reality start to blur when she begins seeing a murder of crows following her around the city — and starts getting threatening text messages from someone claiming to be her dead sister...”

- from CBC Books:

The Break by Katherena Vermette
available from the NLC library in hardcover

“Katherena Vermette (she/her/hers) is a Red River Métis (Michif) writer from Treaty 1 territory, the heart of the Métis Nation. She has worked in poetry, novels, children’s literature, and film. … Vermette received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses’ Company). The Break (House of Anansi) won several awards including the First Novel Award, and was a bestseller in Canada. … She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the  University of British Columbia. ”

“When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night.”

- from

Annie Muktuk and Other Stories by Norma Dunning
available from the NLC library in paperback and eBook formats

“Norma Dunning is an Inuit writer, scholar, researcher, and grandmother who grew up experiencing a silenced form of Indigeneity in the southern areas of Canada. When she began to write about her own ancestors, her Inukness became evident. Her creative work keeps her most grounded in the Traditional Inuit Ways of Knowing and Being.”

“When Sedna feels the urge, she reaches out from the Land of the Dead to where Kakoot waits in hospital to depart from the Land of the Living. What ensues is a struggle for life and death and identity. In “Kakoot” and throughout this audacious collection of short stories, Norma Dunning makes the interplay between contemporary realities and experiences and Inuit cosmology seem deceptively easy. The stories are raucous and funny and resonate with raw honesty. Each eye-opening narrative twist in Annie Muktuk and Other Stories challenges readers’ perceptions of who Inuit people are.”

- from the University of Alberta Press

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
available from the NLC library in paperback format

Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author and editor whose award-winning fiction has been published and anthologized internationally. In 2017, her novel The Marrow Thieves won the Governor General's Literary Award for Young people's literature — text and the Kirkus Prize for young readers' literature. It is currently being adapted for television.”

“Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year — ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One           terrible, hungover morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher named Eugene Wolff. By the time she staggers into the tent, the service is over. But as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.”

- from CBC Books:


Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead
available from the NLC library in paperback format

“Joshua Whitehead is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw Indigiqueer scholar from Peguis First Nation. His work seeks to centre the unique experiences of queer Indigenous young people.  … Jonny Appleseed, his first novel, is about a two-spirit person trying to put his life back together following the death of his stepfather. The book was longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It won the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for gay fiction.“

- from CBC Books:

Kiyâm by Naomi McIlwraith
available from the NLC library in paperback and eBook formats

“Naomi McIlwraith is an educator, poet, and essayist, with a mixed Cree, Ojibwe, Scottish, and English inheritance. She currently works at Grant MacEwan University and has held instructional positions at the University of Alberta and the King's University College. … Through poems that move between the two languages, McIlwraith explores the beauty of the intersection between nêhiyawêwin, the Plains Cree language, and English, âkayâsîmowin. Written to honour her father's facility in nêhiyawêwin and her mother's beauty and generosity as an inheritor of Cree, Ojibwe, Scottish, and English, kiyâm articulates a powerful yearning for family, history, peace, and love.”

- from Athabasca University Press:


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